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Young Experts

Jan Huskens

Jan Huskens

History: Young Expert at DADTCO - Mozambique
YEP period 2016 - 2018, batch 7

Position after YEP

Plant Production Unit Consultant at PlantLab, the Netherlands

YEP Role

As a Young AgroFood Expert, I was working for the cassava processing company DADTCO (Dutch Agricultural Development & Trading Company) in Taraba State, Nigeria. My assignment was to get the laboratory of the company at the processing site up and running.

Part of my activities were to adapt and implement a lab protocol, carry into effect a system of quality control, and train lab staff in the protocols that have been set up. Once these activities had been achieved, I shifted my attention towards the supply chain to ensure farmers deliver a steady supply of cassava to our processing facilities.

 

Click here for more information about my project.

 

Skills

My background is in agriculture and crop production. I am an analytical thinker and I like to use a systems approach for understanding the world around me better. I like to assess the sustainability of food production in a quantitative way, life-cycle assessment for example, and to work on improvements for the current situation.

 

Background

Nationality: Dutch
Education: BSc and MSc in Plant Sciences (Wageningen University) with a specialization in Natural Resource Management.

 

Experience before YEP

For my internship, I spent three months in the rural parts of Eastern Uganda for the N2Africa Project. N2Africa is a large-scale project that works on putting nitrogen fixation to work for farmers growing leguminous crops in Africa. In Kapchorwa district climbing bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a new crop for most farmers and demonstration fields were set-up by the N2Africa Project in recent years to enhance productivity. Different varieties, fertilizer applications, and staking techniques were being demonstrated. My main objectives were to:

  • Evaluate the current demonstration fields with farmers from different wealth categories and gender. The feedback from the farmers will be used to adapt cultivation methods that fit with the resources available to farmers.
  • Interview farmers on what practices they have adopted from the demonstrations of the previous year. The emphasis was on finding out why farmers decided (not) to use certain aspects of the techniques that were being demonstrated.
  • Explore how the cultivation of this type of bean has spread and continues to spread in this district.

The internship gave me the opportunity to learn more about agricultural practices in the tropics, to work independently abroad and to work with people of different cultures.

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Agrofood
Organisation: DADTCO
Young Experts